He has worked as a sports manager and coach in the Czech Republic and abroad, he runs a hockey school. Most importantly, Luděk Bukač Jr. was one of the most prominent critics of Czech hockey under the leadership of Tomáš Král. It is now over after 14 long years.
The new head of the hockey association is Alois Hadamczik. Is the dark age over for you, or is it more complicated?
I think it turned out well, because in the current situation, Alois is the only person who can change anything. He has experience like few others. It is good that the clubs are making it clear that they no longer care what is happening.
So Hadamczik was your favorite?
I will say openly that I kept my fingers crossed for him. We communicate quite a bit, so I supported him. Like some other critics, I see it as hard to help people who changed the junior competition three times in three years and told us before the election that the clubs were to blame.
Were you surprised that Hadamczik already won in the first round, where he narrowly won more than half the number of votes? He was generally expected to decide the second round between him and Jiří Šlégr.
Lots of people were surprised, too. I think the tendency for everything to run on track was strong enough.
Like Hadamczik, you have long criticized the association and the state of local hockey. How much do you agree?
Surprisingly, we agree on most sports. It’s time for a different sport concept to come to our hockey. To make things change. And hardly anyone can do it better than Alois, who is impartial and has vast experience. He spoke very well at the press conference.
If you understand that, isn’t it offered that you get involved in the union?
Look, I’m not as old as Alois Hadamczik, but I’m not the youngest either, so I’d only be involved in something that makes sense. I’ve been to the union before (he led the Czech national team for three years, editor’s note), but I left because, despite various political influences, things could not change. Overall, the environment discouraged me. If your family members are threatened by criticism and people intimidate you, it will poison you. I definitely don’t need that anymore. Few can imagine how much work there will be at the union now. But it only makes sense to do it if no one throws sticks at your feet. So if that makes sense, I’ll be happy to help.
Did Alois Hadamczik offer you a position?
No it does not. We only communicate for a long time. Our hockey school also has a camp in Kravaře, so Alois and I discuss endless hockey. By the way, it was the discussion in our movement that was missing. Those who discussed were immediately silenced. Now, of course, they are kicking some people because they have lost influence and power. Cases like Litoměřice are being solved in an almost undignified way. When I and my family were in trouble after the World Junior Championships in Ostrava, no one joined me.
Litoměřice was debated quite emotionally at the election conference. So are you one of those people who doesn’t make sense in the first league?
It is the style of work of the GDR, where they had two clubs. But we can’t improve our hockey in one club, no matter how well it works. If you want to give a vision to young players here, you have to improve hockey as a whole. It must run in Tábor, Chrudim, Pardubice, Budějovice… The union must support the whole movement, not one project that has actually not produced any results.
Can Hadamczik move with Czech hockey at all? The executive committee remained in almost the same composition and the next elections are already in two years.
Yes, there will be people who have gone against you. But I think Alois can handle it. It’s also not about getting some great results right away. Most importantly, we have to set up the system completely differently. It can happen in two years, even if the work is up. We are burning on more fronts. We need to skate better and have quality competitions not only in the youth and juniors, but also from the students, where I see one of the biggest stumbling blocks. There are more of those things, such as training coaches that we don’t have.
How can Hadamczik convince the public that he is doing something better? The results of youth work, which is at stake, can be seen in ten years.
They can be seen even faster. But I think Alois said it all after the election. He wants certain things not to happen, such as relocating the faithful. That when someone ends up in position A, they do not immediately go to position B. The only possible way is to set strict rules that everyone will respect. Not that if a Club A official knows a Club B official or someone on the union, he can adjust the rules to suit his club. Alois Hadamczik made it clear that he wanted to do good for hockey, not individual clubs. With that comes trust in the union and ultimately results.
Do you agree with Hadamczik’s statement that Czech hockey needs a hard hand?
I’ve been calling for this for a long time. When you look at the union’s website, there is a manager and a manager. You have five managers under you, but no one is responsible for anything. Lately, I haven’t noticed that anyone has taken personal responsibility for designing bad competition or student rules.